How to Survive an International Sports Integrity Conference

You ain’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy. Back in the day, international sports integrity conferences - like Play the Game, happening right now in Colorado Springs - were jovial affairs where independent journalists, saddened whistle-blowers and beleaguered sports officials could meet, chat, drink and sometimes dance. Now, everything has changed. Sports are battle grounds of geopolitical soft power. Hard power is the idea that you can conquer another country with tanks, planes and lots of death. Soft power is the idea that you can...

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The Worst Mass Murderers in History & the NBA

  They are the worst mass murderers in the history of humanity and they have chosen to face down the National Basketball Association (NBA). If you missed this week’s foreboding story of communist Chinese taking umbrage at a seven-word tweet by a relatively unknown (by international standards) NBA manager, this is what happened. Daryl Morey is the intelligent, maverick general manager of the Houston Rockets. He tweets about a range of subjects, mostly basketball but ranging to speed chess and jokes about...

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’Sometimes we fixed more games than we could bet’

In an exclusive interview with Play the Game, a former match-fixer tells how effectively criminal syndicates are still manipulating sports results despite all initiatives against it. The whole approach against match-fixing could be wrong, Declan Hill reports.  This was first printed at: https://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2019/0584_sometimes-we-fixed-more-games-than-we-could-bet/ ** The knock came late at night. Marko Stanovic – whose name has been changed to help protect him from the mob – was in one of the world’s great match-fixing gangs. A group whose criminal ties stretched deep...

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Red Mafia & Black Mafia: Asian Police-Political Theater and Sports Gambling

There are two events occurring in Asia that show the close links between organized crime and top government officials. 

The first is in Hong Kong. The territory - nominally, an independent part of China under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ agreement hammered out with the departing Brits in 1997, is in the grip of a series of demonstrations protesting new legislation allowing the extradition of criminal suspects to China. The demonstrations were mostly peaceful until organized crime (the Triads) got...

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Beauty, Chaos and Tales of Match-Fixing at the Africa Cup of Nations

For those who have not been following the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019), it has been a classic example of the beauty and chaos of Africa’s football world. “In French football you know that 10% of the money will disappear, in African football it is 90%” Joseph Antoine Bell, ex-Cameroon, Olympique de Marseille and Girondins de Bordeaux goalkeeper. Beauty in the extraordinary talent and athleticism of the players. Given their abilities and the capacity of many of the indigenous coaches (try...

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Sex as the Coin of Corruption

Its not about sex. You might think that it was all about sex if you read many of the articles on the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Epstein is the wealthy New Yorker financier indicted for sexual trafficking of potentially hundreds of underage girls.  The media is full of salacious stories presented in an ‘Evils-of-Pornography-we-bring-you-a-26-part-special-investigation’ style. These stories feature tales of massages, recruitment of other teenagers and lots of bodily parts. All of these stories spectacularly miss the point. This case is...

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The Words of the Deep Source Match-Fixers

Last spring, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a number of documents from fixers at the heart of the latest sports corruption investigation that resulted in dozens of players and match-fixers being arrested in Spain https://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/46822784. I did not publish them as I did not want to jeopardize the investigation, but now here are a few pages.  They show that the full extent of the syndicate has not yet been revealed.  The organization is operating across Europe...

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Zombie Organizations: Interpol, WADA and now FIFA?

As the New Year dawns across the sports integrity world, there are a number of vast zombie organizations staggering across the corporate landscape like half-dead creatures. They have no life, energy or drive. They have given up their fundamental purpose.Their leadership has failed them. They are the institutional living dead. First, let us be fair, many good, decent people work for them. They are trying to do the best they can in difficult circumstances. This article is not an...

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The Death of ICSS’s Credibility

Its over. It cannot possibly stagger on with any belief. The credibility of that awful walking, talking oxymoron of the Qatari-funded agency for ‘sports integrity’ - the International Center for Sports Security (ICSS) is dead. Yesterday, in an extraordinary Football Leaks investigation the credibility of the ICSS was not just killed. They blew it up, collected the ashes, burnt them and scattered them to the winds… (That's enough far-fetched poetic analogies! Ed). The organization was set up to ‘protect sports integrity’ a...

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The Sporting Scandals of the Season

It is in the dog days of summer that the dirty deeds get done. A good habit for European and North American investigative journalists is to check government press releases at the beginning of the July 1st/4th weekend and the Friday before the Christmas Holidays. For it is then, when most people are rushing out the door for their holidays, that bad news emerges from guilty corporations, complicit government departments and cunning media spokes people. In sports corruption, the equivalent are...

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